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Austine M.



It all started when then Congressman Raul Roco filed House Bill No. 32497 or otherwise known as
An Act Prescribing a Special Law on Rape, Redefining the Same as a Crime Against Persons,
Institutionalizing Measures For the Recovery Of Rape Victims and The Effective Prosecution of Offenders,
And for Other Purposes on year 1990. It was opposed by many because of its aim to define the crime of
rape as a public crime instead of a private crime, it has now included marital rape and constituting of the
insertion of any object to a woman’s genitals or anal openings by force, threat or intimidation as rape.
However, HB 32947 remained pending at the committee level and the 8th Congress because many
questioned its timeliness and its other provisions including the very controversial marital rape although it
was already been passed by the House Committee on Justice. The battle to finally pass a law regarding
Anti-rape didn’t stop there because eleven women’s group gathered for their common goal which is to
work for a comprehensive anti-rape bill. Samahang Inisyatiba ng Kababaihan sa Pagbabago ng Batas at
Lipunan (SIBOL) was the most active among these and they were the ones who submitted a draft anti-
rape bill to women legislators who they believed could understand their sympathies for women who were
victims of rape.

Still many people refused such drastic change with our laws regarding anti-rape. The issues
contended were the reclassification of crime from private to public, from crime against chastity to crime
against person and the inclusion of marital rape. Those that were needed to be resolved by the mother
committee include making the crime of rape gender-free, the new definition and introduction of a new
crime which is sexual assault and the reclassification of rape from private to public crime. Finally, after
long debates on November 11, 1996 the House passed the bill and was certified urgent by Pres. Fidel V.
Ramos with the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO).

In my opinion, I think it’s good that our legislators finally decided to revise our laws regarding anti-
rape because I think the provisions are more capable of addressing more of the kinds of felonies one can
do in relation to rape like for example the inclusion of marital rape, sexual abuse the penetration with the
use of objects other than the male genitalia and rape against animals. I honestly believe that people
continuously find out ways to commit crimes that require more modified provisions of our law. This is not
only beneficial to the suspect but is also beneficial to the accused because he can be judged more fairly
and be given the right penalties for his crime because he is finally given a law that compliments his felony.
Although this was opposed by many, I think many people would agree that nature of crimes are getting
worse by the time and in a country like ours where the crime rate is evidently high, it is only right that we
continue to further improve our laws so that we can keep up to whatever crime is to be committed by
those people who wish to do so. I think this is also a way to impose to everyone that they should be more
scared of the consequences of the actions or rather the felonies they wish to do so that they would think
twice of committing a crime.